Meet claap, a French startup that has been working on a way to collaborate more efficiently as a distributed team. Claap officially launches its product today.
Rather than relying solely on a mix of written memos and Zoom calls, Claap lets you share and receive quick videos with other teammates so everyone can understand what you’re talking about and provide feedback faster.
“Six years ago I joined 360Learn† We had a no-meeting policy at the time. We were about 20 people and I could see what it meant to build an asynchronous corporate culture – but also what the limits were,” co-founder Pierre Touzeau told me.
And he still believes that async works well for some companies. He named Alan and 360Learn as companies where it can work because teams are “a little geeky”.
The basis of async working is written communication. Many teams rely on Slack for casual chat, a mix of Notion and Google Docs for important memos and emails for company-wide announcements. “But at some point people will say ‘let’s talk about it,'” Touzeau said.
Claap users interact with the product through a browser extension. From this extension, you can record what is happening on your screen. It will also absorb your face in a small round bubble in one corner. It looks a bit like Loomanother quick video recording tool.
After that, people will receive your video and open it in a browser window. From there, recipients can annotate the video. You can pause the video at any time, draw a square on any part of the screen and add a comment.
This page becomes a conversation. You can reply to a comment, @-mention other people and quickly jump through all the highlights. Even months later, someone can still open a Claap page and see how people decided to go one way instead of the other.
Finally, Clap content can be added to your knowledge base and become part of your ongoing documentation. For example, some teams use it with Jira, Trello, or Confluence.
Claap can be especially useful for cross-team alignment. When you’ve gone through a scaling phase at a startup, it can be difficult to keep track of what other teams have been doing. These quick interactions can help different teams stay connected.
Product, design and marketing teams usually start with Caap first. In the best case scenario, companies will start using it more widely after a while.
The startup started onboarding new customers in July 2021. In total, 2,500 to 3,000 people have worked with the product so far. Some of the customers are Qonto, Kavak, Revolut, Libeo and OpenClassrooms.
When it started, the company raised $3 million in pre-seed from Headline, LocalGlobe and several business angels, such as Mathilde Collin, Tony Jamous, Roxanne Varza, Matt Robinson and Chris Herd.
Like Slack, the company relies on a freemium model. You can start using the product for free, but you will need to pay a subscription if you want to search your Clap archive and find old videos.
I asked Pierre Touzeau if Claap had a no meeting policy. “I’ve changed my mind a little bit about the no-meeting policy,” he told me. “Some things work well in meetings, such as human interactions and the ability to think about a solution together, with two or three people. We are usually asynchronous at first, but we still have live meetings because we have a full remote team.”
“If you don’t do that when you’re working remotely, you’re going to go a little crazy,” he added. Of course, Claap also relies heavily on Claap to work on Claap.